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Iconic Galaxy sells 50% of its apartments

May 14 (ST) Iconic Developments says that they sold 50 per cent of their apartments at the soon to be completed, housing project, Iconic Galaxy. Located in the prime of Rajagiriya’s upscale locality, the sale of half of the 261 apartments, within a span of 14 months has been the developer’s highest in the quarter, beating demand slowdown in the real estate market, a media release by the company said. “We are delighted with the interest shown in these apartments and the sales are more..

Promising Amasha looks to run to cloud nine

May 14 (ST) It may be surprising that Amasha de Silva, the girl who won four gold medals at the recent South Asian Junior Athletic Championships, initially dabbled in Hockey and Volleyball. The slim, petite lass from Swarnamali Girls College, Kandy was also into Athletics, but her event was the 400 metres hurdles. In the period 2012-18, she participated in the National Schools Games and the John Tarbat meets where she finished third and second. No wins as yet. more..

Govt in secret agreement with ADB: ICEU

May 14 (DM) Govt has got into a secret agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and with a US company to prepare a white paper to expand investment of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) on the Colombo Stock Exchange and on corporate Bonds by the year 2025, Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) charged today. President of the Union Wasantha Samarasinghe said that increase of EPF investment on capital market instruments more..

Sandanuwan and Sujani Marathon Champs

May 14 (CT) Western Province marathoners G.D. Sandanuwan and Sujani Perera won the men’s and women’s titles at the National Sports Festival Marathon held at Panduwasnuwara yesterday. Sandanuwan clocked 2 hours 26 minutes and 23 seconds to finish the 42.195km distance, while Sujani took 2 hours 55 minutes and 03 seconds. While Tissa Gunasekara and Mahesh Gunathilaka (both from Western Province), finished second and third in the men’s category, more..

SL mobile phone coverage worries Minister

May 14 (Hindu) Minister for Information Technology M. Manikandan has said he would take up with the Defence Ministry the question of Sri Lanka’s mobile phone service being available at Dhanushkodi and Arichamunai in Rameswaram island, and check if this posed any security threat. Asked about the availability of the connectivity of a mobile service provider in Sri Lanka in Dhanushkodi, he said although it had been reported that it was available for a long time, it was brought to his notice more..

Indian Army chief arrives today

May 14 (PTI) Army Chief General Bipin Rawat will leave for Sri Lanka on a four-day visit today, during which he will hold talks with top political and military leadership of the island nation to boost cooperation between the ground forces of the two countries. It will be the first visit of General Rawat as Army Chief to SL where China has been trying to expand its influence. The Army said the aim of Gen Rawat's visit is to take forward more..

Free ambulance service for whole country with new outlook

May 14 (CT) The 1990 pre-hospital care-free ambulance service will get a boost shortly with the introduction of legislation to expand the service to cover the whole island and ensure the smooth operation of the service in a sustainable manner. The service which was started in July, 2016 with a grant from the Govt of India has responded to thousands of emergency calls in the Western and Southern Provinces where the service currently operates. The new Bill will provide for more..

CSE’s net foreign inflows top US$ 18 mn in February

May 14 (DN) Net foreign inflows to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) amounted to US$ 18 million during February 2018, according to the Central Bank. This included net inflows to the primary and secondary markets as well. Accordingly, cumulative net inflows in the first two months of 2018 were US dollars 54 million. Meanwhile, the government securities market (Treasury bills and bonds) recorded a net foreign investment outflow of US dollars 55.6 million in February 2018, more..

Minister Rajapakse gets some more subjects from President

May 14 (Island) President Sirisena has brought under the purview of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakse, some departments and statutory boards which were previously under ministers Ranjith Maddumabandara, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Malik Samarawickrema. Prez Sirisena, on Saturday night, issued a special gazette changing subjects of around 40 ministries. more..

Sri Lanka, Iran in talks for banking deal, direct flights and refinery

May 14 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena had talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on upgrading the country's refinery, starting direct flights and coming up with a deal to make banking transactions easier, a statement said. President Sirisena is on a two day state visit to Iran. Sri Lanka has been a long-term buyer of Iranian light crude, but the two countries have had difficulties over international sanctions, especially in remitting money. more..

Peradeniya University opens ancient manuscript conservation unit

May 14 (Island) The University of Peradeniya has set up an ola leaf manuscript conservation unit at its library. It will be opened by the University’s Vice Chancellor Prof. U. B. Dissanayake on May 15. The Peradeniya University Palm-leaf Conservation Unit with about 5,000 items is believed to be second largest ola leaf manuscript conservation unit in the country. Some of the manuscripts are about 800 years old. The collection consists of about 250,000 individual leaves. more..

Norochcholai Coal Power Plant could affect Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi: Ecologist

May 14 (DM) The toxic acids evaporated from the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant could pose a threat to the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, the oldest living tree of the world with a written history, Ecologist Dr. Ranil Senanayake said. He said there is a possibility of clouds with toxic acid deposits travelling towards A'pura where the sacred Bo tree (Fig tree) is standing, with the Southwest monsoon condition developing. more..

Mullivaikkal remembrance week commences

May 14 (CT) The Mullivaikkal remembrance events commenced with the lighting of flames in Chemmani and Mirusuvil in Jaffna, Uyilankulam in Mannar, and Mulankavil, to mark the first day of the remembrance week in the North and East. The commemorations were attended by former Jaffna Uni Vice Chancellor, Prof. S. Mohanadas, Provincial Councillors, local govt and civil society representatives. The commemorative events will take place across N&E in the run up to 18 May. more..

Suffering setbacks in political battles

May 14 (DM) The politico-turned-general despite the happy turn of fortune since yahapalanaya taking office had not been happy with his lot thereafter too. His complaint had always been that he had not been assigned a subject he was best suited for. His disgust took a turn for the worse when he was denied the much-coveted law and order portfolio after giving him the hope of getting it at the reshuffle before the latest one. A person never used to hiding his feelings or keeping his tongue tied, more..

Gazette assigning duties and functions of Ministers issued

May 14 (DN) The Presidential Secretariat issued a Gazette Extraordinary notification on Saturday assigning duties and functions of the ministers after the recent Cabinet reshuffle. The notification includes new departments, constitutional institutes and boards that will come under the purview of the Ministries and laws to be implemented under the respective ministries. According to the amendments made on the instructions of Prez Sirisena, more..

Heavy rains displace about 8,000 in Galle region

May 14 (Island) About 2,000 families have been displaced by heavy rains in the Galle region on Saturday night, according to DMC. Torrential rains have caused the Moragoda Canal to overlfow, innundating several low-lying areas in and around Galle. Galle Four Gravets, Akmeemana, Poddala and Balapitiya DS areas affected with 7,736 displaced, the DMC said. Out of the four areas Galle, Four Gravets was the worst hit with 6,061 persons, from 1509 families, displaced. more..

President urged to reveal names of 108 persons funded by Aloysius

May 14 (DM) President of Inter Company Employers Union and the National Organizer of Voice against Corruption Wasantha Samarasinghe urged President Sirisena to reveal the names of those who have obtained money from Mendis Distilleries belonging to Arjun Aloysius. He told a media briefing that a total of Rs 1.9 billion has been given to 108 persons and the names of these persons should be revealed forthwith. He charged that money has been offered to some who were in Prez Comm more..

Presidential-aspirant Gota gets going on Vision 2030

May 14 (FT) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is widely speculated to be a 2019 presidential candidate, yesterday unveiled his vision 2030 for SL, promising to transform the economy with futuristic policies and measures but more importantly with the right people and execution. He told a packed and audience of over 2,000 professionals, business leaders, diplomats, clergy and politicians at more..

Lessons of the Iran Nuclear Deal

May 14 (DM) In what can only be described as sheer arrogance, on Tuesday (9), US Prez Donald Trump announced he was unilaterally withdrawing the US from the international treaty commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement or the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), and reimposing sanctions on Iran. Further humiliating his European co-signatories and partners who warned against such a decision, the US president threatened sanctions against those who more..

SLFP’s role in East - reconciliation: 50 years apart

May 14 (DM) At a meeting of the SLFP Central Committee chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena, a decision was taken to hold its May Day rally this year in Batticaloa, in the Eastern Province on May 7. A committee headed by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was appointed to organize the rally. The idea to hold it in Batticaloa, was based on the results of LG election where the SLFP achieved the second place in the district winning 54 members. We believe it is a good proposal as more..

Power crisis likely

May 14 (CT) The CEB has warned that the country would have to face a severe power crisis if the ongoing work-to-rule campaign, by CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU), continues. CEB General Manager A.K. Samarasinghe said the situation could aggravate due to the resistance, by the Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL), to its Power Generation Plan. “We cannot go on like this. The majority in CEB management are engineers. more..

7,261 Hotel rooms under construction

May 14 (CT) The country has a total of 113 hotel projects under construction islandwide, valued at US$ 1,014.7 million, as at end March (1Q2018), SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), in a recent report said. Tourism is Sri Lanka’s third largest foreign exchange earner. It further said that these projects cater to the construction of 7,261 hotel rooms. SLTDA also said that the highest number of projects were more..

SAITM students to KDU: GMOA, SACS each to its own while agreeing to govt’s proposal

May 14 (ST) GMOA and Student Action Committee of SAITM (SACS) have agreed to the govt’s proposal to absorb SAITM students into the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU), subject to the govt agreeing to their respective conditions. GMOA has consented to the proposal as long as SAITM is officially abolished, and the students go through a screening process whereby, only the qualified ones are accepted. more..

‘Govt violating Sir John’s last will to introduce private medical degrees’

May 14 (Island) The govt is making use of military to privatise medical education, on the pretext of resolving the SAITM the JVP says. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said: "The govt in a bid to privatise medical education has violated the last will of former PM Sir John Kotelawala. Usually, violating the final wishes of a person in a last will is abhorred in every civilized society, but leaders in the govt have committed that offence unflinchingly. more..

People attend first OMP meeting despite scepticism

May 14 (DM) The first outreach meeting of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) was held in Mannar on Saturday and many people had engaged in the meeting despite scepticism, OMP Chairman Saliya Pieris PC said. OMP Chairman said the meeting which was attended by about 250 people was held at the Mannar District Secretariat convened by the District Secretary. “All seven Commissioners of the OMP attended the meeting. more..

FCID head Waidyalankara allowed to retire on his own

May 14 (DM) National Police Commission (NPC) has turned down a recommendation by IGP Pujith Jayasundara and the Law and Order Ministry to send the Head of the FCID DIG Ravi Waidyalankara on retirement subject to disciplinary inquiries. Ministry and the IGP also recommended to give him pension benefits upon conclusion of disciplinary inquiries. There is presently an ongoing inquiry against the FCID head by more..

Sri Lankan and U.S. doctors pioneer first robot-assisted surgery onboard USNS Mercy

May 14 (USE) U.S. and Sri Lankan surgeons conducted the first ever robot-assisted surgery aboard the USNS Mercy on May 4. The joint team of multinational surgeons and medical professionals successfully completed a cholecystectomy, or gall bladder removal, on a Sri Lankan citizen using a Da Vinci XI Robot Surgical System. “This landmark surgery advances the boundaries of what is possible through more..

British ruggerite dies in Colombo, another hospitalized

May 14 (DM) A British Rugby player, who was in Sri Lanka to attend a friendly Rugby match died due to breathing difficulties on Sunday, while another was hospitalized , Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera said. He said a British team comprising of 22 members, including the manager of the team had arrived in Sri Lanka on May 10 to participate in a friendly match played at a ground in Colombo on Saturday (12). more..

Mangala defends Ranil to the hilt

May 14 (Island) The most suitable person to contest the forthcoming Presidential poll from the UNP is incumbent PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said. Addressing a meeting of UNP cadres on Saturday, Minister said that there was no other person who would be able to win the Presidential polls in 2020. Those who were calling for the removal of PM Wickremesinghe from the post of party leader more..

Iran-Sri Lanka leaders meet

May 14 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena who is on a two day state visit to Iran met with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran today. President Sirisena was warmly received by the Iranian President when he arrived at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran. President Sirisena was received with a Guard of Honour at the Palace. After a cordial meeting between the leaders, the bilateral discussions were held. more..

Protecting Island’s marvellous landscape

May 14 (CT) On President Sirisena’s directive law enforcement officials kicking off their task of removing all unauthorized structures along the coastal areas of Mirissa two days ago, the Coastal Conservation Department (CCD) under its coastal zone conservation mission has issued a warning to the squatters along the scenic beaches of Mount Lavinia and Dehiwala to get rid of their illegal structures. With the backing of the STF, several unauthorized buildings more..

Central Bank's fintech sandbox earns praise

May 14 (EN) A top economist and ex-Central Bank official has praised a move by Sri Lanka's financial sector regulator to create a regulatory sandbox to test fintech (financial technology) innovations. The Central Bank’s move enables financial institutions to experiment with new financial technologies without running the risk of getting caught for violating regulations pertaining to the sector, said W A Wijewardena, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, more..

පළාත් පාලන නියෝජිතයින්ට ලැබෙන ප්රතිපාදනවලට

Introduction of fintech regulatory sandbox by Central Bank is a move in correct direction

May 14 (FT) Central Bank has recently announced its intention to create a sandbox for financial institutions to experiment with new financial technologies, without running the risk of getting caught for violating regulations pertaining to the sector. This proposal is still at a nascent stage, and a lot more has to be done by the Bank to realise its full fruits. Yet, it will pave way for SL to join the exclusive club of countries that have attempted to bring about a healthy marriage more..

Kandy unrest: 29 persons further remanded

May 14 (NR) Leader of the Mahason Balakaya Amith Weerasinghe and 28 other suspects arrested over the Kandy unrest have been remanded until the 28th of this month. The order was issued by the Teldeniya Magistrate today. The group was arrested over the unrest reported in Kandy during the first week of March. Three separate cases have been filed against the group before the Teldeniya Magistrate’s court. An attorney representing the defence said a revision bail application more..

Tamil Nadu reminisces about Sri Lanka’s war

May 14 (CT) While the SL Security Forces, along with the Govt, are trying to defend itself against war crimes charges made by the international community, India’s southern state, Tamil Nadu, which has released several movies on SL’s ethnic war, is coming up with its latest movie titled, 18.05.2009. The movie is directed by K. Ganeshan and music is composed by legendary musician Ilayarajah, and will be released on more..

Minister assures no electricity price hike

May 14 (Island) Electricity tariffs would not be increased despite the fuel price hike, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. "The fuel prices have increased, reflecting the world market prices. However we have not decided to increase the price of electricity. The govt is focused on managing various fluctuations in the world market, while ensuring minimum inconvenience to the people." Last week, the govt declared that fuel prices would be revised every two months under more..

The body of a PC found in forest

May 14 (DM) A body of a Police constable was found in a forest at Weeraketiya this evening. The body was identified as that of 52-year-old PC Hettiarachchige Ariyadasa of the Weeraketiya Police Station. He was a resident of Kumbukmulla, Hakuruwela. The constable’s wife had lodged a complaint on Thursday stating that her husband had left their home on Wednesday evening and had not returned. Police conducted a search operation but were unable to locate the constable. more..

'Arjuna Mahendran is behind SL-Singapore FTA'

May 14 (AD) Former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran is behind Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) signed between the two countries, says MP Bandula Gunawardana. He said that current govt threw petrol at the fire that is the Sri Lankan economy. It doesn’t help the disastrous economy even if the people, who destroyed former President Rajapaksa’s govt’s work through the 100-day plan, call for more..

Sri Lanka says China gives nod to delayed US$1.1bn expressway loan

May 14 (EN) China's envoy to SL has informed PM Ranil Wickremesinghe that a long delayed US$ 1.1 billion loan to build an expressway had been approved, a statement said. Reports said the loan, negotiated with the Exim Bank of China was delayed for over two years pending approval from Chinese authorities. But the Govt of China had now approved it, the ambassador had said. "Instructions have been given to Chinese EXIM bank to process the loan" statement said. more..